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About Eric Hirst

Eric Hirst has a Ph.D. in engineering from Stanford University, spent 30 years as an energy policy analyst at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and retired to Bellingham 14 years ago. He is a local environmental activist.

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Articles by Eric Hirst

Water, Water Everywhere, But ...

By Eric HirstOn Jan 29, 2018

Although we get lots of rain and snow in the winter, Whatcom County faces serious water-supply issues during the summer months. Here are the key issues I see and what [...]

Once Again, Short-Term Interests Beat Long-Term Solutions

By Eric HirstOn Jan 22, 2018

It’s okay to make a mess now because we’ll plan to clean it up later. That, in essence, is what the Washington State Legislature passed and Governor Inslee [...]

Whatcom Water Resources: A Major Problem and a Reasonable Solution

By Eric HirstOn Dec 18, 2017

Streamflows in the Nooksack River and its tributaries are very low almost every summer. These low flows hurt salmon, trout, and other fish because they contribute to high water temperatures, [...]

Water for Whatcom Irrigation

By Eric HirstOn May 02, 2017

Whatcom County farmers use a lot of water every summer to irrigate their pastures and berry fields. But the public never knows just how much water irrigation uses. This means [...]

Myths About Rural Residential Wells

By Eric HirstOn Mar 27, 2017

The Washington Supreme Court issued its decision on rural residential wells in October 2016. Since then, there has been a glut of misinformation about what the court said and how Whatcom [...]

Future Prospects for Whatcom County Water Supply

By Eric HirstOn Feb 11, 2017

Farmers need water for crops and cattle. City-dwellers want water for yards, gardens and kiddie pools. Salmon need streams with enough cold, clear water to enable them to spawn and [...]

Whatcom County Water Use: When and Why

By Eric HirstOn Jan 07, 2017

Eric Hirst contributes this brief overview of a complex water situation. These views are supported by the attached well researched report by Hirst. During the winter, it’s hard to [...]

Most Cost-Effective Way to Save Water for Homes

By Eric HirstOn Jul 31, 2017

When asked why he robbed banks, Willie Sutton supposedly said “because that’s where the money is.” In the same vein, programs intended to save water should focus on those [...]

Interim Ordinance on Rural Water Wells is Essential

By Eric HirstOn Dec 03, 2016

Eric Hirst guest writes. We appreciate his expert perspective on this important local issue. Elisabeth Britt, in a NW Citizen article on Nov 25, argues that Whatcom County made a mistake [...]

Whatcom Farmers and Eric Hirst Dialog

By Eric HirstOn Dec 19, 2015

Eric Hirst guest writes again on water issues in Whatcom County. Publisher note: We all use water every single day at home and in commerce and industry. By far, the [...]

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